A support group for people victimized by religious authority figures wants Shanley High School to "aggressively reach out" to alumni who may have been abused by a Roman Catholic brother who worked at the Fargo school from 1976 to 1980.
Brother Charles Anthony "Raimond" Rose has been the subject of at least two civil lawsuits filed in Minnesota this year against the Christian Brothers teaching order.
Plaintiffs claim the order committed fraud by not disclosing Rose's history as a sexual abuser when he abused two teenage boys from Twin Cities Catholic schools in 1966-67 and 1970.
Christian Brothers paid a
$1.1 million settlement in 2004 to a former Catholic school student in California who claimed that Rose bought him and other boys beer, had sex with him in a shower and sodomized him, the Contra Costa Times newspaper reported.
Rose, 76, has not been criminally charged in connection with any of the abuse allegations.
During a news conference Friday in front of Shanley, Bob Schwiderski, Minnesota director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, urged the school to reach out to its alumni.
"Don't sit here and say, 'We have a program, come to us,' " he said. "They have to progressively reach out to those that have been harmed and say, 'Please go to law enforcement if you've been harmed.' "
Schwiderski said he has met with two former Shanley students who experienced "events" with Rose that "never should have happened to them." A Shanley official was informed after one of the incidents, but "nothing was done," Schwiderski said, adding that the victims weren't ready to have their identities known.
Shanley Principal Sean Safranski said in a prepared statement Friday, "To the best of our knowledge, the Diocese of Fargo has not been notified of any allegations of sexual abuse committed by Brother Raimond Rose while he was in Fargo."
Abuse victims are encouraged to contact the diocese, which has counseling and other services available, spokeswoman Tanya Watterud said.
"We never take it lightly," she said.
The diocese will look into using the school newsletter as a way to reach out to students who attended Shanley while Rose worked there, she said.
Rose currently lives in Christian Brothers housing in Chicago, one block from De La Salle Institute high school. A message left Friday at his listed phone number was not returned.
Rose has not been in active ministry since 2002 and hasn't had contact with minors since that time, according to a statement earlier this summer from Brother Francis Carr, provincial of the Christian Brothers of the Midwest.
"Given who we are, the abuse of any child is an affront to our Mission and purpose, and we do not and will not tolerate such abuse," Carr wrote, adding, "Our prayers go out to all involved in this matter."
Schwiderski said the children of parents who were sexually abused as youngsters often have to deal with the consequences, such as divorce and alcoholism.
"The consequence of sexual abuse is alive and well today if you don't reach back and help those that have been harmed before," he said. "You've got to stop it someplace. You've got to stop the pattern. That's what we're hoping this school, this diocese, will help work with us on."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528